Radio Ban Option

I would like to see the option to ban some of “My Tags”. I like the radio feature as it often presents me with good music I had forgotten was there in the library of around 17,000 BUT it irks me when unselected genre play from a tag I rarely, or do not want to visit.
For some reason random play from a selected tag seems to wander off into radio from all the library.
But then, I’m provably missing something, as usual.

All this highlights just how sophisticated Roon is developing so how challenging it is for access to some of these clever functions which are not intuitive. Roon needs an “Idiots Guide”.

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My view of the radio feature is different than yours but i have to agree with @Speed_Racer on this. There are many instances where a song may show up on the Radio selection where i don’t want to hear it but in the context of the album i do. Radio listening and Album listening provide for two different experiences (a big part of it being who controls the selection) and i’m firmly on the side as treating them as such.

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Yes! There are so many tracks in my library I do not want to hear via the Radio yet absolutely want to hear when playing full albums that I have stopped using the Radio feature entirely. I shouldn’t have to do that to enjoy music via Roon.

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I agree with this idea. I have only been using Roon for a week, and this has already come up as a problem for me. I have a lot of live Grateful Dead stuff. I would love to have a way to “ban” those tracks from playing on “radio”. Of course, I love this music, but it’s a whole different sound. I don’t want to be listening to a bunch of album cuts on radio, and then all of a sudden have a two-track soundboard bootleg recording come up. It’s jarring.

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+1
I agree with winders on this one. I have many albums in my library where I would prefer certain songs to not play during radio play but I will occasionally listen to the album as a whole. I think this would be a useful addition to Roon. :+1:

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@brian

Given what has been written in this thread, do you see how being able to ban tracks from the Radio but not from album play would make a whole lot of sense? If not, please explain why? Because of how the ban feature doesn’t work, I have stopped using the Radio completely. That’s a problem because I really would like to be able to use the Radio.

Sure, I can explain why.

Having two types of “bans” is a confusing distinction. It complicates the mental model, particularly for new users, in order to satisfy a use case that only makes sense for people with a very detailed understanding of Roon. These people will always be far outnumbered by the people with only a casual understanding.

The favorite/ban picker is not in some dusty corner of the app–it is displayed on nearly every screen, and unlike most of the app, it presents purely using iconography. This is a very tricky thing–icons must be are easy for people to misunderstand. The design “cost” of adding an state that requires explanation to an icon that appears on every screen of the app is huge. Most people will encounter the favorite/ban icon before they are aware that there is a thing in Roon called Radio.

It’s also worth backing up a second and considering where Radio is going.

We have a mandate to make Roon accessible and fun for people without a personal music library. This is going to result in a lot of improvements to browsing/searching, but it’s a hard requirement that we be able to replicate a Pandora-like “lean-back” radio experience using the TIDAL library for someone with zero content of their own.

This isn’t new news–I’ve laid out this vision of radio half a dozen times over the past year, but it’s important context. Radio is evolving into a place where it is very much a black box doing some hard statistical + machine-learning work to figure out what to play. The more it moves in that direction, the less feasible it will be to explain it to anyone but technical people, and the less feasible it will be to be adding more knobs and controls other than perhaps some very high level stuff.

So–in that context: Radio is not library shuffle and is not trying to be. It’s also not designed to be a venue for highly detailed control.

If you want to accomplish a highly controlled shuffle within your library, there are ways to do that–for example, you could focus the album or track browser on the stuff you want to play, then exclude a tag from the focus that means “stuff I don’t want to hear randomly”, and then shuffle-play that browser. You could also manually dump a bunch of content into a playlist or tag and tightly control a random play experience by playing or shuffle-playing the playlist/tag.

Roon has never been (and will never be) the product that includes every knob/slider needed to accomplish every permutation of behavior that someone can dream up–Roon is an opinionated product. We work hard to keep it simple and approachable, even when that comes at the expense of absolute power or flexibility.

One final thing–Roon does automatically ban a lot of stuff from radio behind the scenes. For instance content that is properly tagged as audiobooks/podcasts is left out, and we have matching rules intended to remove applause tracks, introductions, skits, etc. If there is a common class of thing that you are having to ban, and you think we could automatically recognize it, and it would be reasonable to implicitly ban it for everyone, that might be a productive discussion.

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Thank you for that Brian. Could I just ask though exactly what you mean by ‘properly tagged’? Is this user tags (and if so, which and what do they have to be set to?) or does this only apply to items that Roon has identified (through normal online Rovi identification) as audiobook/podcast?

Roon treats media as a podcast if any of the following are true:

  • The file has a tag called PCST with any value
  • The file has a tag called TCON with value Podcast
  • The file has a tag called ISPODCAST with any value

Roon treats media as an audiobook if any of the following are true:

  • The file has a tag called PCSp with any value
  • The file has a tag called TCON with value Literature
  • The file has a tag called ISAUDIOBOOK with any value

In both cases, the first tag is most likely coming from the iTunes store, the second reflects some existing conventions for MP3 files, and the third is a readable option that we support in case people want to tag media from other sources manually and maintain some level of legibility in the tags.

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Many thanks, that is very useful to know. I have a lot of tag checking to be getting on with! :slight_smile:

It would appear that you are saying that the Radio is really for Tidal and not our local library. The method you suggest I use to play my local library without certain songs sounds quite onerous to implement. In fact, I don’t see how it can be done without touching every song in my library.

It seems you are saying you don’t care about people with large local libraries. I still prefer to buy content so I use Tidal to find music I like and then buy it. I guess you want to discourage that. I wish I knew that you guys were going to basically abandon people with local libraries when I bought my lifetime subscription.

Maybe you could create a tag for tracks that we could set/populate that the Radio would then not play.

It IS onerous, but so would be reviewing every song for radio suitability one by one.

Look at the very end of my last post–help me out there. What are these tracks that Roon is picking that cause so much trouble? Is there a way we could recognize and handle them properly automatically?

The only way you could read that out of my statement is if you’re miffed that I didn’t give the answer you wanted. I get it, no-one likes a “no”, but come on, really?

We are people with large local libraries too, but we are also smart enough to realize that there are a lot of people out there who don’t have them (or can’t be bothered to digitize/import them in a world where streaming services exist), but could benefit from Roon’s way of presenting and navigating music. Are you really saying we shouldn’t try to reach those people?

I gave several reasons that have nothing to do with where the radio feature is going–complex mental model, complicated to explain, newcomers will have to confront this choice too early, adds something confusing to every screen in the app, difficult to communicate via iconography, etc. Even if radio were staying exactly as-is, those would be enough to give us pause with this.

Maybe, will give it some thought.

If you want to accomplish a highly controlled shuffle within your library, there are ways to do that–for example, you could focus the album or track browser on the stuff you want to play, then exclude a tag from the focus that means “stuff I don’t want to hear randomly”, and then shuffle-play that browser. You could also manually dump a bunch of content into a playlist or tag and tightly control a random play experience by playing or shuffle-playing the playlist/tag.

It seems like radio banning could be done on the fly. Following your method above, when a track comes on radio that one would like to ban, add that tag to it. Kind of like a thumbs down in this context. Trying to identify and sort everything in a collection at once would, for me, make this hobby aversive!

How about every song on the Genesis album “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway”. Or all but 2 or 3 songs on Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon”. Most songs on The Who’s “Tommy” and “Quadrophenia”. I could go on and on and on…

There are scores of albums in my collection that have tracks I only want to here in the context of the album that I don’t want to hear in isolation via the Radio. There should be a way to make that happen.

No, I am saying you should not cater to them to the point that you alienate people that do have large libraries and that may not using Tidal or not using Tidal the way you describe. Tidal is an optional service and, the way things are going, may be out of business soon. I could turn off my Tidal subscription tomorrow and I would expect Roon to still offer me something in regards to Radio functionality.

If you are going toward a Tidal-only model with the Radio, you need to give us something to use with our local libraries. As things are today, the Radio is useless to me because I can’t stop it from playing tracks I don’t want to hear without crippling album play.

No, I read that because you told me that playing my local library is not what you guys care about…and yes, that caused me to be miffed. You make it sound like Roon is striving to be an improved Spotify and that is what will be important moving forward. That made it sound like folks with local libraries aren’t going to see anything for them.

Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation - Providence.

Cowboy Junkies - Live at City Winery - Band Intro

Both of the above tracks popped up in my radio play at work last week and both are examples of things i would want to hear during an album play but not on radio.

The first is a voicemail recording over a piano track and while it works in the context of the album its terribly jarring playing during radio. Another example would be any of the songs in the Trilogy or the same album. The composition would be fine but a lot would be lost with any of them being played as a single.

The second example is just one of many similar tracks (song intros/band intros/crowd banter) from live albums/concert recordings in my library that have been picked up by radio. Im sure you can see how these could be an annoyance. Why would i want to hear a song being introduced and then the next track on the radio is something completely different by a different artist?

We are not going to a TIDAL-only model with Radio. Roon will still work without TIDAL, including Radio. I also did not “tell you that playing your local library is not what we care about”. We are also not “catering to them to the point where you [we] alienate people with large libraries”. These are speculations (and also not true). Please stop assuming the worst possible implementation. It’s not a constructive discussion if 80% of it is you speculating wildly and me rebutting.

What we are doing is broadening the product to make it usable by people with small/no libraries. I’ve seen what we’re working on, and I know what it is. It will benefit people with libraries, too, while at the same time changing Roon from “useless unless you have a lot of files” to “great no matter how many files you have”.

I’m interested in ways for Roon to automatically/transparently identify tracks that aren’t suitable for Radio (in a global way). Getting this right would make a better experience for everyone, especially the vast majority of people who are not willing to do any manual grooming of their library to annotate tracks one by one.

Doing something with this idea in the thumbs up/down area is the most interesting refinement that I have heard so far, since it localizes the impact on the user experience into a radio-specific place instead of making people confront this technicality on every screen.

Hi @brian

in generally I don’t have a problem with the latest incarnation of Radio. Before it was a bit too much in love with some songs and was playing repeatedly but now it is a lot better and I look forward to machine learning implementation.
However I have to say that I found annoying when during a radio session start the occasional track from the live album where there is the intro of the band or the little chat of the singer. Obviously I wouldn’t expect Roon to recognize these automaticaly but I would appreciate to be able to tag them to avoid in the future to be played again in a radio session. I understand the difficulty of implementing exception, even more if you try to do through machine learning so my suggestion would be to let the algorithm do its thing and then compare the selection toward a “radio banned” Tag. if the song is in the list you simply skip it and choose another one otherwise you play it. In this way you don’t mess up with the Radio engine and you allow users who are interested in managing their collection to skip songs they don’t want in the radio.
My .2 cents

cheers
M